Assuming the Risk is legal journalist Michael Orey’s 1999 book about “the mavericks, the lawyers, and the whistle-blowers who beat big tobacco.” Unwittingly, the book is a prequel to Kings of Tort and The Fall of the House of Zeus. The subject of the book is tobacco litigation in Mississippi in the 1980′s and 1990′s.
I think that I knew about this book when it was published, but forgot about it. Amazon’s categories for law books are so bad that finding books on civil litigation is like a treasure hunt. Every once in a while I stumble across one that I forgot about or never knew about.
The first half of the book focuses on Horton v. American Tobacco. Led by Lexington attorney Don Barrett, the case was tried to a hung jury in Holmes County in 1988. The case was a no holds barred bet-the-company dogfight..